Woodworking

The “Blackbird” Chair

There were two weeks left before the start of the school’s exhibition, and I decided to build a fifth piece of furniture that would be shown at the exhibition.

It needed to be something that I could design and build quickly, and for which there was sufficient wood available. So I picked a chair. The available wood was elm. And the elm boards had been rejected by other students as a consequence of their being shaped like bananas.

I wanted this chair to have exposed mortise and tenon joints – none of my previous projects had exposed joinery – and I wanted it to have a gap for your spine to fit into so that it was comfortable. I also wanted it to be large enough to be comfortable for me (6 ft tall) and others with long legs. Those were my requirements. Here is the result.

Lots of people at the exhibition remarked as to how comfortable the chair was, and it was my only piece which sold. But I do ask myself the question, if it had been made out of something plain – like sycamore – would it have sold?

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